For the past 28 years, the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation in Greenport has celebrated the nautical history of the East End with its Maritime Festival, which continues this year on the weekend of Sept. 23 & 24.
Maritime Festival weekend begins on Friday night, Sept. 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. with the Land and Sea Gala cocktail party on the grounds of the Greenport Yacht and Shipbuilding Co. on Carpenter Street. Tickets are $75 for museum members, $85 for non-members and $50 extra for VIP access from 5 to 6 p.m. and are available online here: www.eastendseaport.org/ landandsea. Online ticket sales end at noon on Sept. 22. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $100.
Saturday morning’s parade through downtown Greenport and the Blessing of the Waters kicks off on Main Street at 11 a.m. and introduces this year’s Grand Marshals, Lisa and Richard Israel.
Lisa was President of the Greenport School Board and is now President of Eastern Suffolk BOCES and Richard is the owner of Richmond Realty in Riverhead and on the board of Peconic Bay Medical Center/Northwell Health.
“They have been wonderful, long time supporters of the Museum and generous community minded people,” said EESM President Arlene Klein.
This year, for the first time, an event tent will be set up in Mitchell Park, with presentations every hour on the hour throughout the weekend. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 23 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 24.
The HooDoo Loungers will perform in the Mitchell Park Amphitheater at 12:30 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. on Sept. 23, and The Two Daves will perform at the Mitchell Park Amphitheater at 12:30 and 2 p.m. on Sept. 24.
The parade is followed by music and entertainment in Mitchell Park, including the Merry Merfolk contest at noon, displays of classic wooden boats, a kayak derby at 3 p.m. on Saturday, flyboarding demonstrations, wood carving, food and artisanal vendors, children’s activities, fresh oysters, craft beers and local wines, and a sail to Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse at 4 p.m.
Sunday morning starts off at 9 a.m. with Paul Drum’s Mermaid and Pirate Breakfast, hosted by Front Street Station, which raises money for the Paul Drum Children’s Nautical Education Program. For 8 weeks during the summer, the East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation offers this free program to children ages 8 to 12, enhancing their knowledge and enjoyment of the waters around us.
Costumes are encouraged at the breakfast, and expect to see your share of pirates and mermaids, have lots of giggles, sing sea chanteys and leave with a full belly, a painted face, balloons and something from a treasure chest filled with loot.
Tickets to the breakfast are $15 and are available online at www.eastendseaport.org/paul-drums-breakfast-fundraiser.
Attendees can also visit the East End Seaport Museum, Railroad Museum, Fire Boat Museum, and Stirling Historical Society throughout the day’s festivities.
General admission to the festival is free, but, fees may apply to some activities.
The Maritime Festival is the largest fundraiser of the East End Seaport Museum, and raises money to enable the museum to continue offering community programs, lighthouse tours, changing exhibits, activities, scholarships, and instill a sense of pride in our common nautical heritage.